Introduction:“Hello, my name is ___. This talk is about empathic modeling and is a reduced version of a practical workshop we run as part of our Inclusive Design module here at HCID.”
Let me give you an overview what we will be doing over the next 40 minutes.In the first 10 minutes or so I will introduce you to the background of Inclusive Design and Empathic Modelling. I will cover some of the motivations, the processes, and examples of Empathic Modelling.Then we will have a practical session of 20 mins of lo-tech Empathic Modelling.In the remaining 10 minutes we will have a group discussion about the technique and your experiences with it.
Why is Inclusive Design important?Designers consider themselves (very bad!) or just “mainstream users”There are lots of people with impairments. This includes: people with visual impairments not able to see information on the screen, hearing impairments who are not able hear computer sounds or speech in videos or on a mobile, motor impairments who have difficulties using a mouse,and also people with cognitive impairments which may have difficulty processing information.In western countries we also have an ageing population. As people age, the likelihood of living with a disability goes up. This compounds the problem.
Accessibility is about providing information and service to all kinds of users regardless of their abilities. Inclusive Design is a way to shape technology and the environment to provide accessible web sites, products, etc.Thinking about impaired users should not be an afterthought. Designing and developing an accessible web site is easier than retrofitting an existing site. Moreover, an accessible web site is also usually a more usable web site for everyone. This means that we have to involve the main stakeholders as much as possible early: users, user experience experts, designers and developers.
So how can we educate the designer about accessibility, particularly as part of the design process?More generally, it also means that we need to raise awareness for the necessity of accessibility amongst the design community and educate people in inclusive design.One way is via personas which are adapted to include the needs of people with impairments.Another is using simulations to see how prototypes would be experienced by people with impairments.There are also guidelines that can help you design to include people with impairments.
How does empathicmodelling fit in?It is a combination of awareness raising and simulation that can be used by designers to educate themselves about the experience of an impairment. It is related to prototyping – it’s sometimes called experience prototyping – and role-playing – you assume the role of the user with an impairment. Using empathic modeling the designer puts themselves in the shoes of the user.It’s not a technique that is without problems:It can get the designer involved and thinking about the difficulties faced by a user but users and user experience experts still need to be involved.Some impairments are easy to simulate using props, others are almost impossible. For example, how do you mimic being cognitively impaired?The technique only can go so far – it will not show how people with impairments have managed to come up with coping mechanisms and adaptations e.g. use of screen readers and other assistive technology. You have the opportunity to walk out at the end of this workshop – impaired people can’t.
EmpathicModelling and its props/prototypes have been used in industry. TheThird Age suit developed by Loughborough University was used in designing the Ford Ka. It gives a good indication of the impairments that older people may experience, hence “third age”.The suit consists of restrictors that simulate reduced joint mobility, gloves for reduced tactile sensitivity, and spectacles to mimic visual impairments (the Ford Ka suit also had ear covers to simulate hearing loss).
We can make use of cheap and readily-available items to construct these props. Here are some examples of what is feasible for a fraction of the cost of a third age suit.
Let’s move on to the practical part. First of all I’ll divide you into two groups. (Equal size groups, Group 1 and Group 2)Within your group pair up. One of you will be the “guide” initially and the other person will wear the props, later you will swap roles. The guide is responsible for the safety of the person wearing the props and to help you with putting on and taking off the props. The guide is also the “sounding board” for you to describe what you experience. The point is not to do the tasks as quickly as you can, the point is to think about how you feel and what you are experiencing.
There are two “stations” with props and tasks. Group 1 will work on the Dexterity station first, Group 2 on the Visual Station. You have 10 minutes for the first station; this includes putting on and putting away props. After 5 minutes, switch roles.Then in the last 10 minutes or so, we will have a brief round-table discussion to share your experiences with the other people.NOW DEMONSTARTE HOW TO PUT ON BUTTONS AND HOW THE GLASSES WORK.
Here’s a reminder of what you should think about: (READ OFF AND LEAVE UP DURING PRACTICAL PART) OK, let’s start. TIMINGS MAY HAVE TO BE ADJUSTED DEPENDING ON WHETHER FIRST PART OF TALK RUNS LONG.
hcid2011 - Empathic Modelling, A Practical Workshop - Dr Simone Stumpf (HCID)
Empathic Modeling – a hands-on workshop<br />Dr Simone Stumpf<br />Lecturer, Centre for HCI Design<br />City University London – Centre for HCI Design<br />cityuni_hcid<br />
Overview<br />Why is Inclusive Design important?<br />How to design to be inclusive?<br />How to educate the designer?<br />What is empathic modeling?<br />Try it out!<br />Round-table discussion<br />
Motivations<br />Legal<br />Equality Act 2010<br />Disability Discrimination Act 1995<br />Economic <br />Estimated market of €30bn<br />Usability<br />Accessibility increases usability for all<br />Demographic<br />~10% of population has registered disability<br />Aging population<br />Moral<br />Everyone has the right to enjoy products and services<br />
How to design to be inclusive?<br />Think about accessibility and inclusive design early in the project<br />Involve users and experts from the start<br />Make sure designers and developers understand the special needs<br />Design and implement to be accessible<br />Evaluate, evaluate, evaluate!<br />
How to educate the designer?<br />Raising awareness<br />Building empathy with user<br />Understanding needs<br />Personas adapted for inclusive design<br />Providing solutions<br />Guidelines and Best Practices (e.g. WCAG)<br />
What is empathic modeling?<br />A simulation of experience <br />Designer puts themselves in position of disabled or impaired user using props and scenarios<br />Great for awareness-raising and very quick-and-dirty evaluations of designs<br />Gets you thinking but doesn’t remove need for user and expert involvement<br />Difficult to simulate some impairments/disabilities<br />Doesn’t take account of everyday experiences and adaptation<br />
Hi-tech Examples<br />Third Age suit (Loughborough)<br />Restrictors located on the hands, elbow, neck, torso and knees (reduced joint mobility)<br />Gloves (reduced tactile feedback)<br />Spectacles (reduced acuity, increase glare sensitivity, a reduction in the sensitivity to blue wavelengths) <br />
Lo-tech Examples<br />Visual impairments<br />Safety glasses<br />Scarf/blindfolds<br />Hearing impairments<br />Earplugs<br />White noise or other “noise” <br /> on headphones<br />Decreased tactile sensitivity<br />Surgical gloves<br />Reduced joint mobility and pain<br />Buttons taped to knuckles<br />Beads on soles of feet<br />
Try it out!<br />Pair up - one of you will be a “guide” initially and the other person will wear the props. Later you will swap roles. <br />The guide is responsible for the safety of the person wearing the props and to help you with putting on and taking off the props. <br />The guide is also an observer and will be asked to describe what they noticed about the experience (it helps if the prop-wearer talks aloud).<br />The prop-wearer should concentrate on challenges they faced with the task and their sensations and feelings.<br />
Stations<br />There are two “stations” with props and tasks. You have 10 minutes for each station (includes putting on and putting away props, and swapping roles half-way through) <br />Dexterity station: Arthritis of hand<br />Visual station: Cataracts<br />
Think about the following as you are completing your tasks<br />How are you affected? What do you find difficult? What is easy?<br />How does it make you feel?<br />What would make the tasks easier?<br />Did you use adaptations to make it easier?<br />How would the impairment affect the use of technology, e.g. using a mobile or using a computer (mouse, keyboard, display)?<br />
Group Discussion<br />What happened during the tasks? Briefly reflect on and describe your experience.<br />How did your experience differ between being an observer and being the prop-wearer?<br />What would you take away from this experience?<br />